Bliss comes from before the 12th century: in Middle English it was blisse, in Old English bliss, blIthe or blithe. Bliss is a fort, a charity (The National Charity for the Newborn), a language, a new age site, a spa, a group, and yes, Sir Arthur Bliss was a (distant) relative.
These pages aim to contradict the view that web sites should just have one theme. I think there is a synergy we can capture when concepts are linked, and many pages of this site connect on several levels ...
Recent searches on my site include: 'type II diabetes and sherry', '1795 Madeira', 'beaujolais nouveau 2002 oddbins', 'bliss and card games', 'ko samet naga' and 'diabetes massage'. You can see the overlap between my diabetes, wine and new age pages. I've had recent feedback on my hi-fi system, politics and bras; and questions about computers, ferries in Croatia and the Festival for Mind Body and Spirit.
I had a lovely message in late November 2003, which exemplifies just why I started the site. Thanks, Neil. It's reproduced below:
Well, I stumbled across your website quite by chance tonight and I must say I do find it very inspirational, which is something I've been looking for since my second marriage dissolved some 8 months ago ... I'm quite a spiritual person to some degree having been involved with a Japanese martial art by the name of Aikido for many years ...
I've been looking for something to do and some way of breaking the old and changing my life by trying something new, albeit by myself ... I've always been interested in dancing and am now going to push myself into trying Salsa ... as well as Yoga which has always been in the back of my mind ... I only hope I can keep up the stamina ... I need more than I'm getting so it's about time I went and got what I need ... keep up with the website. I will be checking back on your little corner of the net ... I'll probably start my own site up as well ...
Though you haven't directly done anything; indirectly you have, so thank you ...
Postscript: In early 2004, I received another email from Neil, saying he's starting Salsa and has created a website, inspired by theblisspages!
Some examples of how these pages and concepts link follow:
Vino is a game about growing Italian wine.
Election simulates a British General election and used to be a family favourite, although it's a bit plodding compared with modern games. Some of the counters have also been chewed by the English Setters I used to have.
Full Metal Planete allows you to gather resources from another world, and used to be available as a computer game on the Atari with an amazing sound track. The pewter pieces are superbly detailed.
Jumanji was a film of a game that played in real life. Sometimes my life feels like a game - with some errors in the rules!
Labyrinths are fascinating in their own right and are central to the film Labyrinth starring David Bowie. There is also a series of Labyrinth games. Labyrinths also apply less literally to anything demonstrating cycles such as games like Evo and films like Groundhog Day.
The way meridians aka chakras are similar in Shiatsu, Yoga, Tai Chi and Kinesiology is fascinating.
Chaos theory hits on everything from weather and games, through politics to SF. The idea that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil could indirectly could have forced Iain Duncan Smith to resign is a delicious concept.
Billy Bragg has a history of political songs. I found an interesting Bragg site. I have his album, "Talking to the Taxman about Poetry", from which I have a snippet for your delectation:
God bless the Civil Service
The nation's saving grace
While we expect democracy
They're laughing in our face
And although our cries get louder
The laughter gets louder still
Above the sound of ideologies clashing
Ian Dury's song Spasticus Autisticus spelt the death knell of his career, as people were too stupid to understand what the song was about, and didn't even realise or notice that Ian suffered severely from a childhood bout of Polio. The director of Scope said that in retrospect, he would have supported the song.
Gabrielle Roth has developed a type of dance, 5 Rhythms, which is a liberating experience. I have several of her albums, including Trance, Bones, and Totem (my favourite) and her book Maps To Ecstasy.
The Moving Center School UK offers a programme of study in Gabrielle Roth's 5 Rhythms™ Ecstatic Dance, Ritual Theatre and Movement Meditation.
Hawkwind's Silver machine is not just an SF song, but a visceral experience, which is now intertwined in my mind with Michael Morecock's books. There is a DVD available, Hawkwind - Chronicle Of The Black Sword featuring Michael Morcock, which is on my wanted list.
William Gibson's Neuromancer is now accepted as the seminal cyberpunk book. "Big Science" is mentioned in the book (in chapter four) and probably refers to the title of a Laurie Anderson CD (I review her 2003 tour on my music page). Her fusion of live theatre and technology is suggestive of the environment in which Neuromancer is set. She plays various instruments of her own design, with her body forming an integral part of the instrument.
Films such as The Matrix and Johnny Mnemonic follow the same route as Neuromancer. In fact, Johnny Mnemonic is based on a short story by Gibson.
My mind tends to work on an eclectic, intuitive level (some just call this muddled) and I've tried to make the site work on a similar level. I may look at a leaf ... in its pattern I see fractals ... leading to computer graphics ... Civilization III ... Politics ... Railtrack fat cats ... Claret ... Headache ... Yoga ... Sharvangasana ... meditation ... leaf!
If it took this literally, of course, the site would be a counter-intuitive morass of seemingly-unconnected links. I hope you find it ordered yet interesting. I hope you learn something and I hope you can contribute something, whether it be a quote, an article or your views. Please let me know here.
: : © Mike Bliss 2011